COLUMBUS: Ohio Gov. John Kasich says a liberal policy group and Democrats who are legally challenging his nonprofit jobs agency are intentionally trying to hurt the state’s economy and get back in power.

At Thursday’s Legislative Preview hosted by The Associated Press, Kasich described ProgressOhio and other plaintiffs in the suit against JobsOhio as “nihilists” and “obstructionists.” The Republican said they’ll have to answer to “a much higher power” for continuing to sue.

Democratic Sen. Mike Skindell, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, says Kasich is also accountable to a higher power — the Ohio Constitution.

Kasich said ProgressOhio’s repeated appeals have brought him close to pushing for legislation that would require parties who lose lawsuits to pay the state’s costs. He said the idea isn’t fully developed yet.